Aren’t fall vegetables amazing? They have so much color, flavor, and staying power. Not only will things like winter squashes and potatoes hang out in your pantry for a while without spoiling, but they also seem so much more meaty and filling than things like zucchini and yellow squash. Not to disparage zucchini, but sometimes you need a little change.
Just look at those wonderful colors! They’re not just pretty to look at – eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables helps ensure you get a wide variety of nutrients. Add several delicious vegetables to slightly spicy sausages and a few Mediterranean seasonings, throw it all in the oven for about 45 minutes, and you end up with a delicious, easy meal that’s Paleo-friendly and a great way to take advantage of seasonal produce.
I chose to use butternut squash, red onion, purple Okinawan sweet potato, and andouille sausage, but you could use other fall vegetables, instead. This recipe would also work with parsnips, turnips, regular sweet potatoes, jicama, or carrots. Just use what you like best! I do think using a slightly spicy smoked sausage makes this dish better – the heat goes so well with the vegetable sweetness. If you’re vegetarian, though, go ahead and leave it out – you just might want to add a little red pepper or cayenne when you’re seasoning everything.
Because roasting vegetables have to release their moisture before they can brown, it’s a good idea not to crowd your roasting pan too much. The given quantities should fill a large rimmed cookie sheet completely, but everything should still be in a single layer. As the vegetables cook and loose moisture, they will shrink in size. Your finished dish should feet 2-4 people, depending on whether or not you serve it alone or with sides. If you want to make more, a second pan is better than crowing everything into one dish. Even if you get a smaller butternut squash, you’ll probably have about half of it leftover after making this recipe. If you want to make things simple for yourself, just cut the neck portion apart from the bowl, use the neck’s flesh, and leave cutting open and seeding the bowl for another day. No matter how you want to cut the squash, you can go ahead and turn the oven on and then prepare your vegetables. I don’t know about your oven, but mine takes a few minutes to reach 400º!
- 1 medium/large red onion
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½"-1/4" chunks
- 1 cup of purple sweet potato, peeled (if desired) and cut into ¼" chunks
- 6-8 ounces of smoked sausage
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Dried or fresh parsley, if desired, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400º Fahrenheit.
- Slice the sausage into ¼" pieces.
- Combine all the vegetables and the sausage in a large bowl, then add the olive oil, oregano, thyme, sage, salt, and black pepper. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the vegetable and sausage mixture to a large, rimmed cookie sheet.
- Once the oven has come to temperature, place the cookie sheet on the middle rack.
- Roast until the potato is soft when stabbed with a fork or knife and the vegetables are starting to brown, about 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of your vegetable pieces. Use a spatula to gently stir/flip the mixture every 15 minutes. If you'd like, turn the broiler on for the last 3-5 minutes, until the onions start to blister and really brown, for added caramelization.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with parsley, and serve.
Whenever you’re using the oven, it’s important to have heavy duty bakeware that won’t warp and pop. When you’re roasting in an open pan at high heat, it’s even more important! You don’t want to use a flimsy pan that twists and bends when set in the oven. If you don’t already have a heavy-duty baking sheet, do yourself a favor and invest in one. I got one for Christmas last year and promptly got rid of everything else!
What’s your favorite fall vegetable?